The stray that came in from the cold

For several years we had a stray cat visiting us. When young wild rabbits were born (under our stud cottage), he sometimes caught one. He never allowed a human being near him.

In the harsh winter of 2010/2011 when the cold became too bad, he was so miserable and ill that he forgot his fear of people. Desperately he even raided the bird feeding table and he started to make eye contact with me.
I put out food for him and slowly he started to trust me. He no longer hissed when I came close. He started following me around and finally I was able to catch him and take him to the vet who neutered and vaccinated him.
He is now “one of ours”.

He isn’t allowed to come inside but he sleeps in the conservatory. He isn’t interested in birds or rabbits anymore and each morning when I open the back door he is there waiting for his breakfast. At first he still stole any food that was left unattended and many times I stumbled over him as he hadn’t learned that the feet of human beings don’t have eyes (the way kittens have to learn that they have to keep away from human feet).

We don’t know anything about his history. I guess that he was about twelve or fourteen years old when he joined us.